Grampian Escapes and Tours

Our Wildlife & Habitat Fund

Ballochbuie Bridge

This year we introduced our Wildlife and Habitat Conservation Fund and committed to raising funds for the River Dee Trust.

Update on our Wildlife and Habitat Conservation Fund

This year we made a change to our efforts in supporting nature and wildlife charities which protect and restore the landscape and environment in our beautiful Scotland.  In past years we made donations to the Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Woodland Trust but we wanted to make a difference closer to home. 

So this year we chose the River Dee Trust as our charity of the year and all season we have been sharing the work the Trust does and the importance of the river Dee with our guests.

Making a difference locally

The River Dee Trust launched their One Million Trees project several years ago in an effort to help create more woodland cover along the banks of the river Dee, to make the catchment more resilient and to help changing climate conditions which affect the habitat of the Atlantic salmon.

The benefit of having tree cover along the river Dee will help in several ways including;

  • creating shade to reduce the rising water temperatures
  • stabilise the river banks and improve water quality
  • improve aquatic and riverside habitats
  • add nutrients from leaf litter and insects
  • will help with flood management
  • enhance the landscape
The One Million Trees project has planted 319,000 trees to date.  To find our more watch the video from the River Dee Trust.

Small Tree Enclosures

Thanks to the kind donations from our guests by adding a voluntary £1.00 donation to the tour bookings, which we matched, to making donations to the cause while on tour and from our own sponsorship, we have managed to raise enough money to purchase our own Grampian Escapes & Tours small tree enclosure near the Spittal of Glenmuick.

River Dee Trust Certificate

Our little grove of trees in the Muick Catchment, is Tree Enclosure No 43.  This enclosure was planted in spring 2022 and includes a mixture of different native species such as alder, birch, rowan, willow, aspen, Scots pine and hazel.

The mix of trees at each site can vary as it is chosen specifically for the location and ground conditions. Each grove is fenced to protect them from being eaten by grazing animals and the trees are supported with tubes and takes.  These will be removed as the trees mature.  All the planting and maintenance is done by volunteers and supported and guided by the team at the River Dee Trust.

In the coming months the next season for planting trees will commence and many more trees will find homes along the river which in time, will significantly improve the habitat along the river.

From small trees mighty ones grow

Our little grove of trees has been planted so their shade will help cool the waters of the river Dee as Global temperatures rise.  The increase in water temperature threatens the wild salmon spawning grounds as small increases can have a big negative impact on salmon numbers.

GPS for Tree Enclosure

Not only will the added shade make a difference, but trees and improved habitat will encourage other forms of wildlife into the area improving diversity and sustainability.

As invertebrates establish and grow in number, small fish and birds will be attracted to the area.  Their presence will help regenerate the entire ecosystem.

In time our lovely trees will develop in to larger specimens and will make a long lasting contribution to the environment on the hill and we are delighted to have made a lasting and local contribution to the country we love.

Onward to our next season

We will continue to promote the River Dee Trust and talk about the work the Trust does as we tour through Royal Deeside. The work continues and we encourage anyone who is looking for an alternative Christmas Stocking gift or Birthday gift for their loved one who has everything, to purchase a tree or two instead and give the gift that keeps on giving. A single tree is only £2.00! 

As we make our plans for the 2023 Tour season we will begin to research other habitat and/or environment charities in Aberdeenshire to offer our support to.  If you would like to nominate a charity for consideration please do let us know by sending an email to: and we will be happy to consider them.

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

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Jacqueline van den Akker

Jacqueline van den Akker

Jacqueline is the owner and lead guide for the business. Together with the team, they create wonderful tours and experiences for visitors working in collaboration with other independent business in Aberdeenshire to show the best of the Northeast of Scotland.

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